Web Analytics Made Easy - Statcounter


Kwali Health Tips


  Whatsapp Now


Heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure or congestive cardiac failure, is a complex syndrome of a group of signs and symptoms that commonly include shortness of breath, excessive tiredness, and leg swelling. 

Heart failure means that the heart is unable to pump blood around the body properly but does not mean your heart has stopped working. It means the heart needs some support to help it work better. Heart failure may cause shortness of breath when exercising or while lying down, and may wake a person up at night. The severity of heart failure is measured by the severity of symptoms with exercise.

The Kwali4u team cares about your health and well-being. In this blog we will share with you some useful information and tips on what causes heart failure, its symptoms, and recommended lifestyle changes.

Heart failure is often the result of a number of problems affecting the heart at the same time by changing either the structure or the function of the heart, or both. Conditions that can lead to heart failure include:

  • coronary heart disease – where the arteries that supply blood to the heart become clogged up with fatty substances (atherosclerosis), which may cause angina or a heart attack
  • high blood pressure – this can put extra strain on the heart, which over time can lead to heart failure
  • conditions affecting the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy)
  • heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias), such as atrial fibrillation (A-fib) which is an irregular and often very rapid heart rhythm that can lead to blood clots in the heart.
  • damage or other problems with the heart valves
  • congenital heart disease – birth defects that affect the normal workings of the heart

Heart failure is a chronic condition that gets worse with time. There are four heart failure stages (Stage A, B, C and D). The stages range from "high risk of developing heart failure" to "advanced heart failure."

Stage A is considered pre-heart failure. It means you’re at high risk of developing heart failure because you have a family history of heart failure or you have one or more of these medical conditions: hypertension, diabetes, coronary artery disease, metabolic syndrome, history of alcohol abuse, history of rheumatic fever, family history of cardiomyopathy, history of taking drugs that can damage your heart muscle, such as some cancer drugs.

Stage B is considered pre-heart failure. It means your healthcare provider has given you a diagnosis of systolic left ventricular dysfunction, but you’ve never had symptoms of heart failure. Systolic left ventricular dysfunction means the left ventricle of your heart, which pumps most of the blood, has become weak.

People with Stage C heart failure have a heart failure diagnosis and currently have or previously had signs and symptoms of the condition.

People who have Stage D have advanced symptoms that don’t get better with treatment. This is the final stage of heart failure.

There are many possible symptoms of heart failure, but the most common are:

  • Shortness of breath.
  • Feeling tired (fatigue).
  • Less able to exercise.
  • Weak legs.
  • Waking up to urinate.
  • Swollen feet, ankles, lower legs and abdomen (edema).

Symptoms and medical history are essential to determining whether you have heart failure. Your healthcare practitioner may ask you about things such as:

  • Other health conditions you have, such as diabetes, kidney disease, chest pain (angina), high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, or other heart problems.
  • If you have a family history of heart disease or sudden death.
  • If you smoke or use tobacco.
  • How much alcohol you drink.
  • If you’ve had chemotherapy and/or radiation.
  • The medications you take.

You will also undergo a physical examination. Your provider will look for signs of congestive heart failure and diseases that may have caused your heart muscle to become weak or stiff.

The usual treatment plan for people with heart failure includes:

  • Regular exercise, being active, walking every day.
  • Stopping the use of tobacco products.
  • Treatment for high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
  • Not drinking alcohol or using recreational drugs.
  • Beta-blocker (medicine) if you’ve had a heart attack and your heart is weak.
  • Possible surgery or intervention as a treatment for coronary artery blockage, heart attack, valve disease (valve repair or replacement) or congenital heart disease.
  • Medications that slow your heart rate if your heart rate is faster than 70 beats per minute and you have symptoms.
  • Possible fluid restriction and cardiac resynchronization therapy (biventricular pacemaker).
  • Ventricular assist devices and Research therapies.

Although you can’t control some risk factors like age, family history or race, you can change your lifestyle to give yourself the best chance of preventing heart failure. Things you can do include:

  • Staying at a healthy weight.
  • Eating foods that are good for your heart.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Managing your stress.
  • Stopping the use of tobacco products.
  • Not drinking alcohol.

If you are a Kwali4u beneficiary interested in visiting a GP for heart failure screening or want to pay an annual visit to a GP, you can find a Kwali Partner (Healthcare Services Provider)  that’s closest to you here

To register as a Kwali4u Beneficiary click here 

To Sign-up as a Kwali4u Partner or Kwali4u Benefactor click here 

Visit our blog page for more Kwali Health Tips


To learn more about managing congestive heart failure visit the below links: 






Request Call Back




Login / Register

Become a partner or benefactor.




Subscribe to our mailing list